B&W is seeking additional equity partners to secure the resources it needs to deploy the lead plant of its mPower small modular reactor (SMR) by 2020.
B&W president and CEO James Ferland praised the support the project has received from the US Congress and Department of Energy (DoE), and from the nuclear industry, especially lead plant customer the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Bringing additional equity partners on board was the "next logical step" to ensure adequate resources for joint development company Generation mPower to move the project forward, he said.
B&W has so far invested more than $360 million in the mPower program, and Ferland expressed his appreciation of the funding the project has received through the DoE's Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support Program. Earlier this year the program received the first $79 million of a DoE funding package worth a total of some $150 million over five years.
Having a broader set of industrial partners and owners would help to ensure a "seamless" transition into mPower licensing and construction, mPower president and CEO Christofer Mowry said. That transition is expected to begin over the next year with the start of the formal design certification process with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
B&W has engaged JP Morgan to assist in the process of securing additional investment partners who will collectively own the majority equity interest in Generation mPower. B&W says it plans to retain the rights to manufacture the reactor module and nuclear fuel for the mPower plant.
The mPower is a 180 MWe integral pressurized water reactor concept which would be factory assembled and freighted to a site where it would be fully bunkered in an underground containment building. A site at TVA's Clinch River has been earmarked for the construction of up to four units.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News